Daily Market Update

What can your income buy you?
A new report shows how much you need to earn to live in Canada’s major cities. As you’d expect, there’s some disparity. For example, to buy an average home in Vancouver you would need an income three times as much as you would to buy a similar home in Halifax. The report from work website Workopolis shows the maximum a bank may be willing to lend based on a mortgage rate of 2.99 per cent. With that in mind you need an income of $56,929 to buy an average home in Halifax; $58,235 in Winnipeg; $68,884 in Montreal; $72,028 in Regina; $72,617 in Edmonton; $74,546 in Saskatoon; $74,820 in Ottawa; $88,578 in Calgary; $113,009 in Toronto; and $147,023 in Vancouver.
Living in the loft adds density to Halifax
It’s not a new idea but it’s one that’s gaining popularity in Halifax -- loft conversions creating new homes on existing plots. Local builders and architects are increasingly using ‘micro-lofts’ to add density to the urban core and give new living options for young professionals and downsizing retirees who still want city living. Construction is kept relatively simple to keep costs down and allow units to be built swiftly.
Flipping could land you with a large tax bill
Investors hoping to make a quick buck by buying, renovating and selling properties should look into the tax implications of doing so. The Financial Post cites a case of a Montreal woman who found herself fighting a demand from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) after flipping a number of properties and paying tax as a capital gain with only 50 per cent liable to be taxed. The CRA maintained that, because of the way she had bought and sold the properties, the profit should be taxed as business income, which means the entire profit is taxable. Elements such as the type of property involved, how long the property is owned for, the number of similar transactions the person undertakes and their intention upon purchase are all used in CRA’s assessment of the correct tax. Read the full story.
Deficit for Alberta as oil revenues plummet
Alberta’s expected surplus will now be a $500 million deficit due to the fast and deep drop in oil revenues. Alberta Premier Jim Prentice says that the province may stay in deficit for the next three years, even if oil prices rebound as expected. The government projections show that the deficit will get larger for a couple of years before balancing in year three. There will almost certainly be spending cuts and/or new revenue generators and, while sales tax isn’t on the table, there could be other taxation changes -- possibly increased income tax.  

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